Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Sr. His intent was to make a school where the focus would be on Christ, so he established daily chapel services. Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from The University Chapel Platform.
Today's speaker is Dr. Alan Benson, the Executive Vice President of Student Development and Ministry Advancement at Bob Jones University. Take your Bibles and turn with me, if you would, to Matthew chapter 28. There really is no time in the year for me like the season of Easter.
It really is that time that I think even beyond Christmas is the most significant of, if you will, call them holidays or holy days for the believer. The resurrection is our great hope, and yes, we acknowledge that Jesus had to come and be born to be our Messiah, and yet if He died and didn't rise again the third day, Paul says, we would be among all men most miserable. As the President mentioned, there is no greater theme then that ought to be connected to what our lives are about than coming out of the resurrection and realizing what should we do next. So the title of my message this morning is really from the Great Commission as we find it in Matthew chapter 28, verses 16 through 20. What about the mission?
You know, someone didn't just dream up this whole idea of the Great Commission. Our Lord came to earth with a mission to seek and to save that which was lost. The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
He was the light of the world, and when He left, He said, you are the light of the world. And so really, we have a great mission that He committed to us. So what about the mission? And I really want to capture in our minds this thought, that the mission, us living on mission, us as we sang about in the two songs that we sang, having a passion for the Savior and His mission that drives us to live missionally with the Gospel, is the right response to the resurrection. The right response to the resurrection. Matthew chapter 28, verse 16 says this, and the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
Notice the idea of a commission taking place. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. For a number of years, people kind of referred to my wife and I as body and soul. She was a nurse. I was a pastor. And so our conversations as we would sit down at the table in the evenings after she would come home from work were really very interesting. For the first ten years of her career, she worked in the emergency room in a level one trauma unit. And so I would talk about, you know, junior hires talking behind each other's back and the trauma of all of that. And I would say, so hun, how was your day? And I would get an array of answers from what it was like to treat a gunshot wound to the head or what it was like to massage a heart due to chest trauma from a car accident.
It made the junior high war seem somehow different. I would often think to myself, I am so glad that when people with that kind of emergency show up that you are there to help because I wouldn't be much help. I mean, I could pray with them and that's a lot of help, but as far as stopping the bleeding, probably not much I could do.
But more than that, not am I just thankful that there's people like you there to help, but to know that you care enough to do so. For the next ten years, she started and ran crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina and then in Chicago. It was not uncommon for her in any given week to interact with young girls 13 to 14 years old who found themselves expecting a baby and who had already had more than ten sex partners.
They were babies having babies. And as part of the clinic setting, I got involved and we would do counseling. So we would do everything from smoking, cessation counseling, why a pregnant mother shouldn't smoke, to post abortion counseling. How do you survive when you come to grips with the reality that you killed your child? And by the way, there is forgiveness and restoration in Christ.
Praise God for the Gospel. We would do eight weeks of parent classes for those who decided to keep their babies and wanted help. Most of the time my classes would be with just women, but sometimes men would show up and in that setting I learned a new term. Baby Daddy. The men who would come weren't husbands, they weren't fiancés, they weren't even boyfriends, they were baby daddies. I began to realize how broken our world is. As we would encounter these people who are now so broken and so scared, most of them would consider taking the life of the baby that was growing inside them because they do not want their children to have to face the kind of life that they had to live. Young people, we live in a very difficult, very broken world.
And sometimes I think as we sit on a campus like Bob Jones University, we don't really realize it. We live in a world that is filled with casualties, but it's more than that. We live in a casualty-creating culture. We live in a world where babies have babies.
We live in a world where children shoot children. We live in a world of hatred and selfishness like we saw displayed in Sri Lanka this weekend. We live in a world of arrogance and depravity.
You know what? It's an easy world to withdraw from. It's an easy world to hate. It's ugly and it's harsh and it hurts and it becomes very easy for us as believers to look at the world, to get a sense of disdain or disgust, and to draw back as though drawing back from some hideous scene.
It's a hard world to love. In fact, I would say to you this morning, if pity somehow becomes the primary motivator for your evangelism, it will at some point fail because this world is going to hurt you. But we have a mission, a mission that was committed to us by someone who more perfectly than anyone ever could saw the ugliness and the harshness and the hurt and the pain and the filth of the world and loved the world enough to come and complete the will of His Father and bear the wrath, the just wrath of His Father in being our sin-bearer on Calvary so that death might be caught up in life. And He committed that mission to us. You see, this world is the world that He loved. And it is possible for us, through passion for Him thus displayed, in compassion for the world, by the power of the Gospel, not just to make a difference, but to make the only difference that really matters.
Our job is not, somehow, to make the world a prettier place. It is to see lives that are being destroyed by sin transformed through the Gospel to the place that those same lives are trophies of grace and glorify the Savior who redeemed them. That's our message and it is our mission. And so I really want us to contemplate just this thought, that in light of the colossal consequences of eternity, when it comes to the spiritual needs of the lost in a casualty-creating world, do you know what you're doing when it comes to the Gospel? Do you know it well enough to share it? If not, get equipped.
And if you do, do you care enough to help? What about the mission? And so I want us to come to Matthew 28 and we have walked the journey of the Passion Week. We've actually felt some of the emotion of the disciples who failed and we see here that some of them doubted. They still don't understand all that has transpired. Jesus is going away. He has risen from the dead.
Does He really have all power? This isn't what we expected. They're in turmoil.
And really, Jesus appears to them here and before He leaves, He says to them, what about the mission? And so I really want us to see just two things. One, looking at them and looking at us, I want us first of all to see the crisis.
And I want you to realize that every time we come to the place that we're going to share the Gospel, there is a crisis. Will you do it? Will you not? Will you be inconvenienced? Will you not? Will you make it a priority? Will you not?
Is it worth it? Will it be difficult? How will they respond?
How will you be treated? Every time you think about sharing the life-changing news of the Gospel, it's a crisis. And I ask you to decide before the crisis, how will you answer the question, will I do something? Because all too often, I think we sit in the moment and we walk away with regret that we really didn't. Are we preparing our heart to live missionally?
Because there's always a crisis. And so I want you to see in that crisis the daunting task. The daunting task, consider the disciples. Paul described the world at the coming of Jesus this way, in the fullness of time.
So think about the world because it's the same world that they're living in when Jesus leaves. It was a Roman world, a geopolitical power that was desperately clinging to global control, that had centralized power in a figure called the Emperor, who knew that the only way to wield control over this all was that through fear, men would consider him to be a god. It was a Greek world.
Rome spread a Hellenistic culture with the splendors of its language and art and architecture. It was a culture that exalted man in the face of the cruelty of the gods, who in their temperamentality humored themselves by torturing and trivializing the mortals. And so we have to elevate man. It was a Jewish world with the most elaborate religious system of laws and requirements that the world had ever seen. A system that they had perverted. So that now it inverted God's plan by accumulating regulations whereby men might through their own self-righteousness reach up to God. It was a satanic world where Satan was active and as perceptive in filling and controlling men through demon possession and false spirits as at any time in human history. To this world, Jesus came as a light in the darkness.
He lived in it for 33 years and he called these men and he ministered and taught for three and a half years. He confronted the demagoguery of Rome, the humanism of Greece, the religion of Israel, and the power of Hell. And at the end of all of that, they killed him. They were all in agreement. They all cried out in one way or another, crucify him. They all wanted nothing to do to him.
And this is the world that these disciples are now called to reach with the gospel. You wonder why some doubted? It hadn't changed.
It didn't get better. There aren't people walking around mourning over the fact that they made a mistake when they killed Jesus. They aren't wishing that somehow they could go back and have a do-over. You see, the challenge of evangelism is always a daunting task.
And if you wait until it's easy, you will never start. By the way, the world hasn't changed. That's why Paul captured it so well when he looked at the world in Romans chapter 1. And understand, he captures the whole world.
See the same things there. You'll see in Romans 1 a pervasive secularism that embraces culture in general. And it did in Jesus' world and it does in ours. And so there are active factors at work in the world all the time. There is this passion for the elimination of God. And it takes different forms in different cultures.
But friends, it's there in our culture today. Maybe becoming more actual in its practice. Removing God from public places. Removing Him from public schools.
Taking Him out of the marketplace. Removing the presence of anything that might remind us that there is a God. The elimination of God. Secondly, the erasing of truth. We don't want there to be absolute truth because it's binding to us. We want relativism. Things are only true as they need to be true to benefit me the most.
And when that doesn't benefit me, I don't want it to be true. The exaltation of man. Humanism's message is that I'm the only God I need. The embracing of sin. That somehow life is fullest enjoyed whenever I am freest to do whatever I want to do. And thus not just allowance of sin but an embracing of sin because it frees the heart. And then the elevation of death. We should not be shocked that we're living in a world that actually promotes things like abortion because it's freedom.
That promotes things like euthanasia because others would waste my resources. That's why Paul at the end of Romans chapter 1 says that though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. The world is a place that actually pursues the elevation of death. It's a daunting task. I then see that there were doubting people. It wasn't long before this that Peter said, I go fishing. By the way, he wasn't saying I need a break, boys.
Let's go catch some fish. Remember, he was a fisherman when Jesus found him. And when Jesus dies, he says, you know what? This was all for nothing.
This didn't change a thing. And I'm going back to where I was before he called me. That's why it's so beautiful that Jesus finds him on the seashore. Like he found him there in the water. They were doubting.
The world that had just killed Jesus surely wanted to kill them too. And I wonder if we don't sit at times and we doubt. Does the gospel really work? Is Jesus really winning? Is the church really being built? Can we really make a difference? Maybe we ask, does it really matter? They were doubting.
Are you? So we come then to this message from Christ. And I want us to see secondly then simply this, something we all know, but I want us to see the command.
The command. Notice what Jesus says to them knowing that they are doubting. He says at the end of verse 18, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Imagine what that now means to them as he speaks of his authority. Rome doesn't have it. Greece doesn't have it.
Israel doesn't have it. Satan doesn't have it. All authority is given unto me in heaven and on earth. He's quieting their doubts. He's conquering their fears.
He's commanding their attention because he's going to commission their activity. All authority is given unto me. Young people, we know this verse so well.
We know the great commission so well. And yet that which is so familiar often breeds disdain. Do not forget who is Lord. Do not forget as we come out of the resurrection what he has just done. The final enemy Paul describes for us is death. And he has just conquered death. We sing, death could not hold him. It was impossible for the grave to keep him.
You cannot fit life into death and death not be bursted old wineskins. He has all authority and in resurrection power he displayed it to the principalities and to the powers. He displayed it to the rulers and to the kings. He displayed it to the priests and to the scribes and he displayed it to these now fearing and doubting disciples and young people.
If you read of his life in the Scriptures and you remember what he has done in the resurrection. He's displaying and declaring it to you. He's your Lord. And he said I will build my church and the gates of hell with all their authority will not stand against it.
All authority is his. But you may sit here today and say so that's great and I know that but he left. So what does that mean for me? Notice the next two words. Go ye therefore.
It actually is here an expression of almost an assumption. Having gone. Be missional. I'm expecting in light of why I came and what I did and that I called you and that I equipped you that you are now going to be going people. It's interesting that Peter who says I go fishing is standing here and probably ringing in his ears are those words that said I will make you a fisher of men.
So see the activity of the program. Notice that this authority that he has he very clearly here is delegating. We are living in a humanistic, secularist society that is constantly looking at those of us who would come to them and declare truth.
They're asking us this question. What right do you have? And I will tell you if you look within yourself and you try to engage them in an argument that involves you, they rightly ask you what right do you have because you and I have no right. But Jesus is Lord and He has every right. And He says having gone you go therefore based upon my authority so the authority that you have is delegated authority. You're not going for you.
You're not going to win an argument. You're not going out of pity. You're going out of passion for the one Lord who has every right. Every right to declare the truth and every right to commission you to declare the truth. So notice what He says. Go therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Notice that He is very clear here about what it is that we are to declare. That there is truth that matters. That there's truth that He taught and that He committed that He wants declared. And that it is truth that we dare not change. It is truth over which we dare not cower.
And it is truth that we must not compromise. It's His truth. And it is the power of God unto salvation. So we are commanded to teach them the things that He had taught. That it's His truth that I must know the Gospel. Do you know the Gospel?
If not, these are the days to know it. And then I must obey. I must accept the mission that He is committing to me. And I must go with the confidence that He expects me to go resting in Him as Lord. And I must teach. So as I close, I leave you with these thoughts. Disciple.
What a term. Here's the way to think about that in light of Great Commission living. Be one.
And for some of us maybe that's where this starts. Are you a disciple? Be one. Secondly, have a heart that says I'll seek one. My constant passion as I live in this world is I am going to look.
Who is it that I can reach for Christ? And as I live that way then I'll purpose to reach one. I'll go somewhere in a personal direction to try and connect. I'm always looking but I'm looking for someone to connect with. And when I connect, I'll teach one.
Disciple. Be one. Seek one. Reach one. Teach one.
Why? Because Jesus is worth it. Let's pray. Father, set us on fire to be a people who live on mission with the Gospel. For this is truly the right response to the resurrection. We pray these things in Jesus' name and for His sake.
Amen. You've been listening to a message preached by Dr. Alan Benson, the Executive Vice President for Student Development and Ministry Advancement at Bob Jones University. My listening friend, can I ask you a question? Have you received the crucified, resurrected Jesus as your own personal Savior? No doubt, God is speaking to your heart.
There's a knock on the door of your heart and He's asking to come in. Would you personally, individually, right now, call upon the name of the Lord, ask Jesus to be your Savior, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Let me urge you to do that right now. May God bless you. These daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and this radio ministry. If you appreciate these programs and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's Word, would you consider sending us a special financial gift today? You can easily do that through the website thedailyplatform.com and then click on the Give button on the home page. We'd also love to hear about how this program is helping your Christian walk.
Please send us your feedback using the Contact button at the bottom of the website thedailyplatform.com or you can call us at 800-252-6363. I'm Steve Pettit, President of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. I'd like to invite you to attend one of our summer camps for both middle and high schoolers. BJU has over 50 camps to choose from, so there is one for you. Here's just a few. Aviation, Astronomy, Cinema, Computers, Culinary, Criminal Justice, Media, Music, Nursing, Theater, Robotics, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Golf, and there's many more. Come explore your future during a week of what we call EduCamp. For more information about our camps, visit our website go to EduCamp, that's E-D-U-C-A-M-P dot B-J-U dot E-D-U. Thanks for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we study God's Word together on The Daily Platform.
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